Tuesday, March 8, 2005

MH - Terri Update

Bill Cork at Ut Unum Sint has the latest Vatican appeal to save the life of Terri Schiavo. Bill has the entire text of the letter; I encourage you to click on the link and read the whole thing there, which also gives you a chance to check out Bill's blog if you haven't done so already. In the meantime, here is an excerpt:

However, in just a few days, [if her husband and the courts have their way] this is exactly what will happen to Terri. She will be completely deprived of water and food. She will have excessive suffering and pain inflicted upon her which will lead to her cruel death. Yet we have come to the point of asking whether due process been fully carried out and all options exhausted on behalf of Terri? This is unbelievable! Is it not sufficient enough to say that there are still questions that must be answered? We plead, we make the urgent appeal for the life of a helpless human being...a person with whom we all share our God given human dignity. How can anyone say that her best interests have been taken into consideration?

In his Message for the Eleventh World Day of the Sick (11 February 2003) His Holiness Pope John Paul II stated: “And while palliative treatment in the final stage of life can be encouraged, avoiding a “treatment at all costs” mentality, it will never be permissible to resort to actions or omissions which by their nature or in the intention of the person acting are designed to bring about death.”

Palliative care, by its definition is the alleviation of suffering and relieving pain. In the last stage of life, it is this care for which we all must hope because, if the feeding tube is removed and Terri is forced to die this slow, terrible, painful death, we must ask ourselves, “And who will be next?” Will this open the door for a state to decide whether this or that incapacitated person should die...not be allowed to die a dignified death but that they should have death inflicted upon them?

It must stop here and now. The courts, the judges and everyone involved with this must understand that all of the questions involved in the case of Terri Schiavo have not yet been answered. Society must realize that we can never inflict this sort of death on a human being, on any other creature, without each and every one of us and society as a whole suffering a terrible fate.

In other news, Blogs for Terri has a story of a Nobel-nominated doctor who says Terri "can still be rehabilitated." Also, please take note of this call for action to support the "Incapacitated Person's Legal Protection Act," which is being introduced in Congress. With so many protected classes already in this country, is it too much to hope for one more?

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